Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Investigations into How Flight Crashed Are Stalled

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Investigations into How Flight Crashed Are Stalled

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter

INVESTIGATIONS into what caused the flight MH17 disaster, which killed two Newcastle United fans, have hit a new setback. It emerged yesterday that Dutch investigators had been forced to cancel a trip to the crash site amid fears fierce fighting between pro-Russia separatists and Government troops would make the area too risky for the experts.

And now Barry Sweeney, from Newcastle, whose son Liam was among the 298 people killed has spoken of his sadness that the tragedy did not prompt an end to the violence.

Barry, 52, from Westerhope, said: "Our lads became involved in something they should never have been involved in. You would hope that what happened would stop the fighting, but unfortunately I don't think it will help that area.

"When there's a war going on nobody cares. We just want an end to it."

The Sweeneys have been getting regular updates on the goings on in the Ukraine and the Netherlands, where the bodies have been taken from their police family liaison officers.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Raza initially said he had struck a deal with the rebels to allow international police access to the scene of the crash in eastern Ukraine so that its cause could be probed.

However, it was decided yesterday that it would be too dangerous for the unarmed investigators, who are currently in Donetsk, to enter the area.

Alexander Hug, of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said: "There is fighting going on. We can't take the risk. "The security situation on the way to the site and on the site itself is unacceptable for our unarmed observer mission."

Meanwhile the remains of one of the crash victims have been identi-fied. Since the tragedy, 227 coffins have been flown to the Netherlands.

And a team of experts from Britain has been dispatched to help the Dutch-led operation to identify the 298 passengers and crew killed. …

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